Kong Skull Island Trailer

I haven’t had the chance to go on the record with my thoughts on the latest trailer for Kong: Skull Island, so I’ll get that out of the way first: this movie looks nothing like I expected, I have no idea how it got made, and I can’t wait to buy a ticket to witness this madness. While that headline is all about a nifty piece of concept art from the film, the really interesting tidbit here is that director Jordan Vogt-Roberts seems as surprised as anyone that he was able to make the crazy movie he pitched.

First of all, here’s that concept art, which debuted over at Empire and features King Kong emerging from a raging inferno while soldiers scramble beneath him. It’s an incredible image and one that, if the header of this very article is any indication, seems to have made the leap to the finished film.

kong skull island concept art

But even cooler is this statement from Vogt-Roberts, who reveals that the original screenplay was set during World War I and that he expected his Vietnam War-inspired pitch to be shot down:

The script I first read took place in 1917. But when I started talking to the Legendary [Entertainment] guys, I was thinking, ‘What weird King Kong movie would I want to see?’ So I pitched them the Vietnam War connection, literally thinking they were gonna laugh me out of the room. And to Legendary’s credit, they said, ‘Cool. Let’s figure it out.’ The aesthetics of that time mixed with King Kong makes for an incredible genre mash-up.

It remains to be seen if Kong: Skull Island will be any good, but it certainly looks…well, the technical term is “bonkers.” The combination of Vietnam War imagery with giant monsters is an insane concept and the fact that Legendary let Vogt-Roberts get away with it is a promising sign that this won’t be a boilerplate summer blockbuster. While I would certainly watch a version of this movie set in 1917, that’s awfully close to the 1933 setting of the original film and Peter Jackson’s remake – this has the chance to be something completely different. Besides, 2017 will offer a different genre-infused take on the Great War with Wonder Woman, so everyone wins.

While I’m not entirely sold on Warner Bros.’ plan to build a shared universe for its giant monsters, I am in total support of letting interesting directors run wild with these iconic creatures. If Kong: Skull Island is half as beautiful, weird, and unconcerned with following the standard template as Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla, I’ll probably love it.

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